Textile Field at the V&A

As part of a number of events and exhibitions taking place at the V&A in London for this year’s London Design Festival, French designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec are offering visitors the chance to view the Raphael Cartoons in an entirely new way…

As part of a number of events and exhibitions taking place at the V&A in London for this year’s London Design Festival, French designers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec are offering visitors the chance to view the Raphael Cartoons in an entirely new way…

The Bouroullecs have installed Textile Field, an undulating carpet-cum-lounge of soft fabric onto the floor of the space, and are encouraging audiences to lie down upon it to view the paintings. The piece has been created by no less than a Royal sanction, as the Royal Family own the Raphael Cartoons and therefore have to give permission to any adaptation to the room containing them.

To walk on the work, visitors have to change into a pair of specially designed booties, which can be seen in the photos above. “We were invited by the London Design Festival to choose any space we wanted within the museum for our installation and were immediately drawn to the Raphael Gallery,” says Erwan Bouroullec. “It’s an opportunity to create an environment for viewing art which has never been done before.”

The Bouroullecs are among a number of designers and artists invited to create work for this year’s LDF at the V&A. Architects AL_A have created a stunning 3D spiral made of American red wood, which is positioned at the main entrance to the museum, while curator Murray Moss has collaborated with Belgium-based group Materialise to create an exhibition of works created using 3D printing. There is also a specially made Granimator app, an exhibition about ‘brutal simplicity’ by M&C Saatchi ad agency, and work by recent graduates from the University of Arts London, chosen by Giles Deacon, is displayed in the V&A’s British Galleries. And for those who would like to wander the museum guided by the famous, Johnson Banks has created a new set of bespoke maps of the museum which feature selections by Judi Dench, Tom Dixon, Annie Lennox and more (see last year’s maps here).

All displays will be on show throughout the London Design Festival, which runs until September 25. More info is at vam.ac.uk and londondesignfestival.com.

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